The holiday season comes around just once a year, and decorations make it truly special. You might simply hang a wreath on the door. Or maybe you go all-out with multiple trees, exterior lights and a life-size crèche in the front yard. However you decide to decorate, we can all follow these pointers to keep ourselves and our families safe.
Candles smell great and cast a pretty light. They are also miniature fires and can easily set your home ablaze, potentially causing injuries and fatalities. In the month of December, there are almost three times as many home fires that begin with candles compared to the rest of the year.
Fire safety shouldn’t take a vacation over the holidays. Working smoke alarms cut the chances of dying in a home fire in half. Have and practice a home fire escape plan. Have a fire extinguisher and learn how to use it in this 21-second video.
When making time for holiday tasks, you might be tempted to cut corners on safety. It only takes a minute or two to find and set up a stepladder when hanging decorations indoors. Don’t stand on chairs or tables to hang decorations.
Choose the right ladder when stringing lights and hanging decorations, both indoors and out. The lifetime odds of dying in a fall are 1 in 119, but you can beat those odds by following ladder safety recommendations such as using ladders on solid, flat surfaces and stopping outside work if it’s windy.
Ladders are magnets for children — they love to climb. Never leave a ladder unattended where a child could use it, inside or outside, and be sure children know that ladders are off limits.
The sparkle of lights and reflective glass ornaments make a Christmas tree breathtaking, but they can be hazardous if not displayed properly.
It’s a myth that poinsettias are deadly, but you still want to keep them away from children and pets. (Is this the year to invest in artificial poinsettias you can find at the local craft store, and enjoy decorating with them for years to come?)
Poisoning potential is more likely to come from the button batteries in new toys and gifts, or children ingesting medications, alcohol or cleaning agents they find around the house. It’s a good idea at any time of year to keep the National Capital Poison Center phone number on the fridge, (800) 222-1222.
The National Safety Council wishes you and yours a very happy, healthy and safe holiday season!